Every song from Oasis' Definitely Maybe album RANKED - 25 years on
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Every song from Oasis' Definitely Maybe album RANKED - 25 years on

But 25 years ago today, five lads from Manchester (*ahem* five Irish Mancunians I should say) released Definitely Maybe, the album that might not have kicked off the Britpop movement -with Blur and Suede laying the initial foundations for the almost decade-long sensation that was to come - but it opened the door for a band who would soon seize the genre by the scruff of the neck.

Well, it didn't just open the door, it swung it open and knocked it off its hinges, and in swaggered this gaggle of cocky upstarts who, perhaps quite rightly, knew just how f*cking good their album was.

They say there's nothing like your very first, and while Oasis' next two albums can certainly rival their debut album in terms of commercial success, artistically, nothing that came after it could ever match up to Definitely Maybe. Even your grandmother will know one or two of these tracks we're about to rank, that's how big this album was.

Before Wonderwall, Don't Look Back in Anger, Champagne Supernova and other somewhat softer (but admittedly very popular) tracks were ever screamed by packed-out crowds across the globe, there was this: Noel and Liam Gallagher at their very best, and Oasis at their very rawest.

1. Supersonic

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The last minute-and-a-half are as hair-raising as it gets if this is your sound. 'Supersonic' is how you should feel as this plays. An anthem for all moods. The first of five singles on the album, Supersonic epitomises the laid-back yet ferociously measured energy, and above all the dust-off-your-shoulders optimism the band were so keen to demonstrate with grunge music drearily fading in the rear-view mirror.

2. Columbia

Eerie guitar screeches introduce this criminally underrated classic, before a blast of that measured energy grabs you and drags you along like a leashed dog behind a speedboat. Noel's drenched guitar churns almost constantly, bringing with it something of a psychedelic feel. But make no mistake, this is rock music at its very purest. "There we were/now here we are" - what a way to announce yourself.

3. Live Forever

Probably the most famous song off the album and a cornerstone of the musical-cathedral that is Britpop. Live Forever directly contrasts to the bleakness of the grunge scene and, rather aptly, introduced many Americans to Oasis with its more casual vibe. A rock anthem. A love anthem. And even a soundtrack for the young and the free, Live Forever's versatility and purity of sound have unsurprisingly seen it become a household name, even in 2019.

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4. Rock 'n' Roll Star

Liam's voice is masterful here. The lyrics are Noel's but his younger brother twists and wrings them to create this ultimately unique 'Oasis' sound. And this song epitomises that. "I need some time in the sunshine" (pronounced sunsheeeeiiiiiiiinuh). Genius. The first track on the album, it's a little on the nose with its 'I dream of being a star' narrative, but in typical Oasis fashion, the conversation feels more like a 'get out of my way, I'm gonna be a f***ing star'.

5. Slide Away

Appreciated by Oasis fans, arguably underrated by everyone else. It's something of a blend of the classic Oasis features. There's a bit of Liam sunsheeiiin'ing, there's elements of the fantastic guitar riffs from Supersonic and Columbia, while the whole songs takes on the apprehensively upbeat feel of Live Forever. It's a love song after all.

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6. Cigarettes and Alcohol

This does what it says on the tin. As you might expect, it's rough, it's loud and it's brutish. But it remains a poignant song for the downbeat working-class type. Of course, much of this track is about getting high on all sorts, but ultimately it's an in-your-face reality-checking blast into the lives of, well, the Gallaghers - pre-success of course, and anybody else who might have ever maxed out on fags and pints and wanted a life with something more.

7. Bring it on Down

Staying on the same theme, Bring it on Down explores life as "the underclass". And like C & A, the sharp guitar chords and menacing drums really do a god job of demonstrating the 'backs against the wall' nature of living life young and fast.

8. Married With Children

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Noel wrote this song while living a girlfriend who hated his music, and he envisaged a life spent with her. The acoustic track explores how the two would get on eachother's nerves and it cynically parodies the lives of couples who hate all the little petty habits about their partner. But after two minutes of whinging and moaning, the song cheerfully meanders into a 'but it's OK because I love you' kind of avenue. It's not winning any awards, but it's a nice change of vibe for the album.

9. Shakermaker

A different pace to the rest, with mixed results. Plenty of sunsheeiiiin'ing in this one, and undoubtedly a catch jingle. But nothing to really sink your teeth into. Some blood-pumping guitar scratches towards the end bring you back in to the Oasis vibe though. Quite mellow really.

10. Up in the Sky

A certain Stone Roses feel to this one. And that's maybe why it's ranked so low. There's nothing wrong with the Stone Roses, but the sound, while catchy enough, is a kind of bastard-middle-child between the brash, rhythmic bursts of heavy-Oasis, and the softer, more melodic and reflective Oasis that created Wonderwall and the like. Not a bad track, but not their most memorable.

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11. Digsy's Dinner

It's about going over a mate's house for some lasagna, let's just get that straight to begin with. The song is in last place, but it's a parody. It's a piss-take. It would otherwise fit OK on the album if Married With Children hadn't already done the same job, but ah, who cares, when the album is this good, you can forgive a forgetful track or two.